Mini Metro now lets you fix the subway, while you’re riding the subway

My walk to work is rife with construction; large swaths of land are cordoned off, sidewalks reworked and traffic patterns changed, all because of a big green stripe being added to our Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority maps. A project in the works since 1990, the Green Line Extension project only actually started to take shape in 2012. The MBTA started to put down the bones. And then it was halted. Revised. There’s a new plan now, but things still seem shaky. As it turns out, reworking a city’s transit system isn’t is easy as plopping a line down on a map. But…


Welfare State, a game about the anxieties of flirting with poverty

In high school, I played a game called Spent. This poverty simulator was a welcome distraction from an otherwise unbearable personal finance class. Spent begins by chiding you with the question: “You’d never need help, right?” From there, it’s a juggling act of rent, groceries, activities for your kids, and random setbacks in the form of injuries and car repairs. In Spent, once you get the hang of it, you can keep your head above water for quite some time. In Randy O’Connor’s new iOS game Welfare State, however, you’ve already drowned. Welfare State is, in O’Connor’s own words,”a stressful…

Really Bad Chess

Really Bad Chess is bad in all the right ways

You’re taking a walk in Central Park. The sun is shining down on you, a stark contrast to the cool autumn wind that tickles the back of your neck. It’s a reminder that change is coming. As you stroll past the row of chess tables, you see two elderly men hunched over and glaring at each other with an intensity that startles you. As you approach, you notice that there are chess pieces sprawled everywhere. The two men look exhausted. You walk closer to see that the board is full of Queens. Nothing but Queens. One of the old men shakes…


That Dragon, Cancer is available on iOS today

That Dragon, Cancer was released back in January this year, shortly after my father’s cancer diagnosis. My first real brush with cancer, I clung to the game for guidance. That Dragon, Cancer didn’t necessarily tell me what to expect, but helped steer me through the things I needed to feel. I wished desperately that my parents would give it a try. But they wouldn’t—and not because they didn’t want to; they just really didn’t have a way to play a computer game (they’re tablet folks). Amy Green, Joel’s mother and writer on That Dragon, Cancer, wasn’t surprised by that. “We have suspected for a…

I Love Fur

I Love Fur lets you pet the coats of imaginary creatures

Most people have owned a pet at some point in their life. And even if you haven’t, you’re probably familiar with the passion that erupts inside children when they see a fluffy dog or a well-groomed cat—they must be smothered with love, their fur tousled and stroked to make them feel good. But children don’t always want to pet normal creatures, and sometimes their imagination runs wild with dreams of petting dragons, unicorns, or perhaps something slightly more in reach like a polar bear. Well, Nina Geometrieva, an artist located in Singapore, decided to create an iOS app that lets you pet…

Samorost 3

Samorost 3’s fairy tale of microbiology is now on iPhone

Samorost 3 is a game that cares about the tiniest organisms on the planet. It’s made of them: curious bugs that harvest moss, fungi blown up to the size of three-story houses, tree knots as gargantuan as an abyss. It seems fitting then, that Samorost 3 is now available on iPhone and iPad; smaller screens than the desktop PCs it was released on back in March this year, and screens that let you prod its world with your finger rather than a computer mouse. The game is a fairy tale of microbiology, inspired by Jakub Dvorský’s love of poking his face…

Mr. Robot

The Mr. Robot game will make you paranoid

I have a confession to make. I’ve spent the last few days hacking other people. It started innocently enough with a simple request. Soon, these requests became more complex. Now I find myself in an endless pit I can’t escape. One guy is threatening me. A mysterious group may or may not be after me. To top it off, I think I might have ruined someone’s childhood. Have I gone too far? Is someone out to get me? I shouldn’t have picked up that phone. As my phone’s screen darkens and the credits roll, I’m brought back to reality. Thankfully,…


Three burly men will set out on a gentle adventure with you next month

Just hearing the name Burly Men at Sea—along with watching its trailers, filled to the brim with a bouncing, benevolent brawniness–effectively communicates what it’s like to play the game. You embark on a journey as not one, not two, but three Brothers Beard, who put the lumbersexual hipster trend to shame. Heeding the call of the blue siren, you join them as they gallivant across the sea and a storybook of various Norwegian haunts. “We knew we were making Burly Men at Sea before we knew what it would be,” said co-creator David Condolora. “We had that name in our head before we even started making…

Slayaway Camp

Slayaway Camp turns VHS horror into a cute, murderous puzzle

Slayaway Camp is a puzzle game about massacring hapless teenagers, and, perhaps fittingly, it comes from a place of aggression. “After a decade [of] making gems go clink and pegs go… Peggle at PopCap,” said Jason Kapalka, one of the founders of PopCap, and now returning to independence with Blue Wizard, “I had a lot of pent-up aggression and wanted to work on something really violent and gross.” A sliding puzzle game isn’t the most likely candidate to vent such vicious desires. And that’s entirely the point—Kapalka is looking to assault the sparkly, saccharine game genre with Slayaway Camp in action. As…